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New article: Land-use emissions play a critical role in land-based mitigation for Paris climate targets

Scenarios that limit global warming to below 2 °C by 2100 assume significant land-use change to support large-scale carbon dioxide (CO2) removal from the atmosphere by afforestation/reforestation, avoided deforestation, and Biomass Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS). The more ambitious mitigation scenarios require even greater land area for mitigation and/or earlier adoption of CO2 removal strategies. Here the authors show that additional land-use change to meet a 1.5 °C climate change target could result in net losses of carbon from the land.

The authors explore the land-climate-carbon cycle interactions of a new scenario designed for 1.5 °C target temperature analyses produced by the IMAGE IAM that includes afforestation/reforestation, avoided deforestation, and BECCS Bioenergy crops are modelled with the Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES) under a range of climate and land-use change scenarios. They find that the simulated total land carbon storage is reduced with the land-use from the scenario designed for 1.5 °C climate change compared to the scenario designed for 2 °C, in contrast to the intended effect of the additional land-based mitigation in the 1.5 °C scenario. This is due to losses of vegetation and soil carbon when bioenergy crops replace high carbon ecosystems.

Read further the open access article from the journal Nature Communication

Follow the Climate News Network story "Forests cut warming better than technology. Biofuels are no easy answer to climate change. Nor is storing captured carbon dioxide. The world’s great forests cut warming better than engineered solutions can."